Friday, 29 August 2014

Prince2 and its relevance for iMedia now

Who would believe that it’s more than 25 years since Prince2 started making an impact on project management. Its original success, arising out of a commitment to train project managers from the IT sector, has helped turn project management into a recognised profession. That’s what we owe it. And, it recognises that as the project environment changes, its practices need to adapt. The present lot of project managers have more access to technology through social media as well as conventional media and they are deploying these to communicate with their global teams, stakeholders and management. This is a far cry from 25 years ago. This implies recognition of the expansion of the team, the cultural differences, the importance of managing stakeholders and communication with management. The role of project manager has changed with the times and now encompasses more upper management and business strategy, as well as the day-to-day projects.

Prince2.com celebrated its 25th birthday on 15th August 2013 with a review of Project Management: Past, Present and Future, by James Hancock. He recognises the changes that technology has brought for the profession and that Project Managers utilise more technology now. But, just like the book, Project Management circa 2025 (2009) edited by David Cleland and Bopaya Bidanda, they all seem to miss out the role of project managers with digital (iMedia ) projects. The chapters in this book address the financial services sector, space exploration, Pacific, European, Indian and Arabic geographical areas, and give attention to the changing role for team management, competencies for project managers, and the impact of cultural and social issues.

No consideration is given to the developers of digital pathways that lead to the changes in the general project management role. Maybe this is because general project management is all about controlling risk factors in the general projects while digital project managers are risk takers themselves by the nature of the type of projects they manage. They still try to control as many risks as possible but when you are pushing the envelope there’s no safety net! General project managers would struggle with the black holes faced by digital project managers. They work from being able to predict the likelihood of risk from previous experience that has been codified from other projects. As an analogy if you have built one house, although there will be variations, a second house has many of the same processes. But digital project management can be like designing new bricks as you build the house. Fundamentals are different and unknown. Now this gives an edge to digital project management that will affect the competencies needed as well as the management skills.

What would you look for in a digital project manager? Maybe you’d agree with Access’s definition of, The Top 10 Skills You Need to be a Super Digital Project Manager – but maybe not as the role spans such a wide set of skills depending on the digital sector. It’ll make you think though, and the first three words, ‘Dark art, witchcraft, science’, are far removed from a traditional project management role and reflect the differences I have been trying to highlight.

The applicability of Prince2 to iMedia is something I've thought long and hard about. You can read more in a white paper on the ATSF web site.

This discussion in no way undermines the strengths of using Prince2 methods and processes. It is versatile enough to employ as needed to fit a project and many digital project managers now have this qualification. All this blog is doing is highlighting some differences in digital project management that can affect Prince2’s use in such projects. Any hints and tips for using Prince2 in digital projects would be fantastic – thanks.

1 comment:

  1. To stop making avoidable mistakes in project management one can also try attending good at PMP classes conducted by any of the PMI registered REP's for gaining expertise best processes of project management. Any good at PMP prep course will provide students with lots of actionable insights in project management along with preparing them for PMP certification.

    ReplyDelete